It’s always interesting to see which Retropower projects attract the most attention, both in person and online. OK, so some cars are all but certain to cause a furore from the moment they break cover (Gordon Murray Escort, we’re looking your way…), but others seem to attract a disproportionate degree of interest from all corners, and the Greetham Imp is perhaps the best example of this.
You can read more about the ethos behind this charming little car here, but suffice it to say that it has grown to become one of the most frequently enquired about projects currently passing through the Retropower ‘process.’
It’s also a project rapidly approaching completion, what with its engine, gearbox and custom driveshafts now in situ. Very much the essence of the Greetham ethos, the Rodwell Motorsport built motor is a more than fitting choice for a car like this, and not merely as it has the ability to rev all the way to 8200rpm.
There’s still some work to do before we’re ready to fire it into life, though it is dangerously close to being fully wired up. We will need to send it off to have a custom manifold and exhaust made of course (by the guys at Simpson Race Exhausts), but with most aspects of the Imp’s running gear in place we can begin to turn our attention to other, less oily areas of the car.
The interior is one such area, and also one denominated by a ‘less is more’ approach. This is partly down to the manner in which the car will eventually be used, either on the track, or, for the most part, not at all: the owner is such a committed Imp fan that he plans on displaying it within a specially created area of his house. It’s also hard to argue that the pristine colour, a Vauxhall shade called ‘Sunny Melon,’ doesn’t look the part.
That’s not to say that it’s destined to be a wholly spartan affair, not once the custom touches (including plenty of ‘Greetham Engineering’ logos), bespoke Speedhut USA clocks and dials and Motordrive seats have been brought together. Some are already in place as you can see, but we feel that the overall effect will be that bit more striking once the interior is fully finished. Keep your eyes peeled for more minimalist, Rootes-flavoured interior wonderwork, basically.
That this Imp will eventually call the circuit its home obviously had ramifications for its chassis spec, and indeed much of our early engineering work was spent altering and improving the car’s suspension setup. The rear swing arms are a good example, both having been fabricated from scratch with eccentric bushes for camber and toes adjustment.
The entire rear assembly is connected to the interior cross-bar, a means of maximising structural rigidity. It’s a similar story at the front, where you’ll now find modified wishbones with kingpins and eccentric bushes for camber and toe adjustment, with billet alloy brackets (for reduced weight and enhanced appearance) and height adjustable coilovers.
The one truly significant task still to complete is finalisation of the engine management wiring loom, something we’ll aim to complete later this month. The end, as they say, is very much in sight.